Housing Estates in Europe: Poverty, Ethnic Segregation, and Policy Challenges
Daniel B. Hess
Professor and Chair
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA
This presentation explores the formation and socio-spatial trajectories of large housing estates in Europe. Are these estates clustered or scattered? Which social groups originally had access to residential space in housing estates? What is the size, scale and geography of housing estates, their architectural and built environment composition, services and neighbourhood amenities, and metropolitan connectivity? How do housing estates contribute to the urban mosaic of neighborhoods by ethnic and socio-economic status? What types of policies and planning initiatives have been implemented in order to prevent the social downgrading of housing estates?
Hess’ research addresses these questions from a new perspective previously unexplored in scholarly literature. The social aspects of housing estates are thoroughly investigated (including socio-demographic and economic characteristics of current and past inhabitants; ethnicity and segregation patterns; population dynamics; etc.), and the physical composition of housing estates is described in significant detail (including building materials; building form; architectural and landscape design; built environment characteristics; etc.). This research is timely because the recent global economic crisis and Europe’s immigration crisis demand a thorough investigation of the role large housing estates play in poverty and ethnic concentration. Through case studies of housing estates in 14 European centers, this research also identifies policy measures that have been used to address challenges in housing estates throughout Europe.
Daniel Baldwin Hess is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned a doctoral degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. While this book was in progress, he was Visiting Scholar and Director of the Centre for Migration and Urban Studies at the University of Tartu, Estonia, where he was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Fellow funded by the European Commission. His research addresses interactions between housing, transportation, land use, and other public concerns, and he develops new pathways for understanding the complex socio-economic and ethnic landscape of cities and spatial inequalities. In his scholarship, he explores metropolitan form and urban planning practice and policy, sometimes interactively and sometimes separately, but always as a means to improve city functions and urban life. He is a former Fulbright Scholar at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Columbia University, and winner of an Eisenhower Fellowship. He is co-editor of Housing Estates in Europe: Poverty, Ethnic Segregation, and Policy Challenges (Springer Publishing 2018).
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